Behind the scenes

125 Posts
The pushy musical prodigy: Chloë Hanslip
We have all seen children forced to endure endless piano and violin lessons by overbearing and pushy parents. Research has suggested, “Pushy parents who go to great lengths to make their children succeed are attempting to make up for their
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The Dangers of being a Musical Prodigy
Vanessa Mae: Slapped around by Tiger Mum
The “Tiger mom phenomenon,” a term coined by Yale law professor Amy Chua in 2011, describes an age-old system of strict authoritarian motherly control that is supposed to propel children towards excellence. Advocates suggest that it produces an exceptionally high
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The Sorcerer’s Apprentice
Alfred Brendel and Paul Lewis
Playing Schubert with no Middleman
Famously, Paul Lewis grew up in a home in Liverpool where the most sophisticated musical device was a small electronic organ. Both parents had little interest in music, only “occasionally, my dad would play one of his John Denver record.”
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Finding a New Light Source: Funding Lumen de Lumine
How do you get a record of new choral music made? In these days of austerity and penny-pinching, you need to be innovative. At the same time, in these days of social media and the power of networking, new avenues
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The Sorcerer’s Apprentice
Alfred Brendel and Imogen Cooper
Demonic Intensity
Imogen Cooper proudly announced at the age of 5 that she wanted to be a pianist. Her father, the noted musicologist Martin Cooper, warned her about the perils of becoming a performing artist. “I had no idea what it all
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The Sorcerer’s Apprentice
He set the Piano Stool on Fire!
Alfred Brendel and Kit Armstrong
On rare occasions, musical aptitude strikes without warning. I am pretty sure that’s what the British-Taiwanese parents of Kit Armstrong must have been thinking when their son, age 5, and without access to a piano, taught himself musical composition by
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The Dangers of being a Musical Prodigy
Lang Guoren: Ordering his son to commit suicide
Lang Lang is arguably the most famous Chinese pianist of all time. He certainly is a cultural icon with the popularity and charisma of many leading rock musicians. Yet the path to this kind of superstardom came at a steep
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The Sorcerer’s Apprentice
Hu Weimin and Ning Feng
Overcoming the “Pinkie” rejection
Audiences and critics are usually ecstatic when Ning Feng picks up the 1721 Stradivari violin known as “MacMillan.” Born in Chengdu and currently residing in Berlin, Feng has “developed a reputation as an artist of great lyricism and emotional transparency,
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